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Charity Reputation Index Reveals High Levels of Public Trust in Sector


19 December 2018 at 12:31 pm
Luke Michael
The Australian public’s level of trust in the charity sector remains high, according to the annual Charity Reputation Index, which named The Royal Flying Doctor Service as the country’s most reputable charity for the eighth year straight.  


Luke Michael | 19 December 2018 at 12:31 pm


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Charity Reputation Index Reveals High Levels of Public Trust in Sector
19 December 2018 at 12:31 pm

The Australian public’s level of trust in the charity sector remains high, according to the annual Charity Reputation Index, which named The Royal Flying Doctor Service as the country’s most reputable charity for the eighth year straight.  

The Global Reputation Institute (RI)’s latest charity index found while much of Australia’s corporate sector took a reputational hit in 2018, the public trust in charities remained strong.

Even the lowest ranked charities in Australia recorded a stronger overall reputation score than most of Australia’s corporations, when compared with RI’s Corporate Reputation Index released earlier this year.

RI managing director Oliver Freedman said the charity sector continued to grow in reputational strength.

“We continue to hear about the erosion of trust among Australians for our major organisations. However, what our latest reputation research shows is that this does not apply to our charities which have managed to ride out a storm of mistrust and come out the other side as a stronger, more reputable sector,” Freedman said.

“In fact, the top 31 charities in this year’s Index have stronger reputations than the top ranked Australian corporations – [like] Air New Zealand, Toyota and Qantas – based on score alone.”

The findings contrast those of February’s Edelman Trust Barometer, which found trust in NGOs fell from 52 per cent in 2017 to 48 per cent this year.

The index surveyed 7,699 Australians to measure the overall reputation of the country’s 40 largest charities, ranking them using a scoring system. Charities were also measured on a number of factors including services, innovation, and leadership.

The RFDS came out on top of the rankings for the eighth year in a row, Careflight jumped up from third last year to rank second in 2018, and Guide Dogs rounded out the top three.

Greenpeace Australia ranked last in the index, recording the lowest reputation score for the second year in a row.

The biggest improvement in 2018 were Ronald McDonald House Charities, which jumped 12 places overall from 2017 to rank sixth, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the McGrath Foundation, which both rose nine places to land in the top 10.

Freedman said the fact that Australia’s top four ranked charities were the same as 2017 reinforced the stability these organisations maintained.  

“In particular, Royal Flying Doctor Service should be congratulated on its consistently high scores and leading position across all seven drivers of reputation,” he said.

RFDS CEO Martin Laverty said this achievement was a fitting way to conclude celebrations of the charity’s 90th year and was a great recognition of the organisation’s value to the Australian people.

“It is a privilege to once again be recognized as the most reputable charity in Australia and it is an indication of the value, trust and respect that Australians hold for the Flying Doctor” Laverty said.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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